Valentine's Day DIY: Make Your Own Box Of Chocolates

Valentine's Day DIY: Make Your Own Box Of Chocolates

Few things are as ubiquitous in grocery stores, pharmacies, and life in general during the months of December and February as chocolate boxes. Formally named selection boxes, these containers of varying chocolate treats were first introduced in the UK in the late 1800s, and have thrived ever since.

The issue, however, is with the selection. Caramels are first to go—always. The middling selections are the nuts, nougats, and coconuts. Why any chocolate company still includes cherry cordials is a mystery, as they tend to be tossed, half eaten along with the molasses chews that play a disappointing second fiddle to caramel.

Since most of us (including me!) have more time than ever on our hands, I thought it would be fun to actually make a selection box for my sweetie. I went with his favorites: caramel, peanut butter, and almond coconut.

This recipe is long and involved but not particularly difficult. There are just a lot of steps and a lot of moving parts to think of. If you’re interested in doing this with kids, I’d stick to making one type, probably the peanut butter or coconut since those are super easy!

Follow the recipes and steps below and you, too, can be a chocolate gifting angel this Valentine’s Day.

1. Outlining the Steps

Note: Following this method is the most logical and least stressful!

I made the caramel filling first (because it involved the most precision and work), coconut second, and peanut butter third.

The caramel should be cool enough to be worked with and coated in chocolate by the time the other two fillings are finished.

The peanut butter and coconut fillings need to be chilled in the freezer while the chocolate is melting in the double boiler and the caramel chocolates are being assembled.

2. Special Materials & Ingredients

Note: I had all the basic ingredients, but I did have to get quite a few things, and ended up spending about $40.

Special materials you’ll need are:

  • Candy thermometer
  • At least two sizable silicone candy molds (note: mine was tiny, making the process annoying. I would definitely look for molds that are about 2 inches per candy)
  • Mini muffin tin and liners (you can find cute pink and red foiled ones online!)
  • A cute gifting tin!


Note: I went with vegan ingredients, but you can certainly substitute dairy butter and use whatever chocolate chips you like best. I do suggest using dark chocolate, as the fillings are rather sweet.

  • Vegan dark chocolate chips (2 bags, total of 4 cups or 24 oz)
  • Good quality vegan butter (I used Miyoko’s)
  • Light brown sugar
  • Agave syrup
  • Coconut cream (not milk! Cream!)
  • Natural smooth peanut butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Graham cracker crumbs (I just crushed a graham cracker)
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Roasted, lightly salted almonds (optional)
  • Fine sea salt
  • Flaky finishing salt

3. Making the Fillings

Caramel Filling

Recipe adapted from The Pretty Bee

  • ¼ cup cultured vegan butter (I used Miyoko’s)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup agave syrup
  • ~? cup (2.75) ounces coconut cream
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Attach a candy thermometer to a heavy bottomed pot. Melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the light brown sugar and stir until incorporated and melted.
  3. Add the agave and coconut cream.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook, stirring constantly until the candy thermometer reads 235 degrees F, the soft-ball stage. (Note: this process took about 20 minutes for me, and I used a hand mixer to stir continuously the entire time. Precision and patience with this step is crucial.)
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sea salt.
  6. Pour the caramel on the prepared cookie sheet. It only takes up about a third of the sheet.
  7. Let the sheet of caramel cool completely while preparing the other fillings. It needs to be cool to the touch before slicing and formed into discs.

Peanut Butter Filling

Adapted from the Viet Vegan.

  • ¼ cup natural smooth peanut butter (oil drained—you want the peanut butter solid with just a smidge of oil)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (again, I used Miyoko’s!)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl (I used a hand mixer). Set in the fridge to chill.

Coconut Almond Filling

Recipe adapted from The Big Man’s World

  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ? cup (2.38 oz) canned coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • ¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped (optional)

Combine shredded coconut, canned coconut cream, and agave in a bowl with a hand mixer (you want to use a hand mixer here to whip some air into the filling). Gently fold in the almonds by hand if using. Set in the fridge to chill.

3. Melting the Chocolate & Candy Assembly!

Note: I learned the hard way not to melt chocolate over boiling water (I ruined my caramels this way—I’ve never done this before!). You don’t want the chocolate to get over 120ºF during the whole process, so using a meat thermometer to check the temperature is a good idea.

Also note: we’re going to melt chocolate twice.

  1. Line your mini muffin tins (for peanut butter candies) with liners and have your silicone molds (for coconut almond candies) ready to go.
  2. Roll your caramels into half inch balls and lay out onto parchment. Be sure to leave about one inch or so of distance between each ball. Place a second piece of parchment on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the balls into flat discs about half a millimeter in width and 1.5 inches in diameter (this is approximate—make it the size you want!).
  3. Once all the discs are rolled, melt the chocolate.
  4. Using a double boiler on medium heat, melt 2.5 cups (20 oz., or one bag plus one half cup) of chocolate with roughly 3 tbsp of butter (you can substitute coconut oil), stirring consistently. Once the chocolate is all melted (and still under 120ºF!), take off the heat.
  5. Spoon the chocolate into your silicone molds and mini muffin tin. Use a butter knife or a really tiny rubber spatula to line the sides. Note: some of the chocolate you spread on the sides will sink to the bottom. This is fine, just account for it by putting a little less on the bottom than you feel necessary.
  6. Place the tin and the molds in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Now, dip the caramel discs in the remaining melted chocolate. Fully coat, then place directly on parchment. Sprinkle with some flaky finishing salt and place in the fridge to cool. Note: once the chocolate has set, remove from the fridge and let warm to room temperature; this will result in a chewy caramel!
  8. Again, using a double boiler on medium heat, melt the remaining 1.5 cups (12 oz) of chocolate with roughly 2 tbsp of butter (you can substitute coconut oil). Once the chocolate is all melted (and still under 120ºF!), take off the heat.
  9. While your chocolate is melting, remove the muffin tin and silicone molds from the freezer. Spoon in your coconut filling to the molds, leaving room at the top and sides to coat with chocolate.
  10. Roll your PB filling into a generous ball, then press into the mini muffin cups, leaving a little room around the sides for the chocolate to completely surround the filling.
  11. Working quickly, add melted chocolate to the muffin tin and silicone molds! Note: you can spread the chocolate all over the top of the silicone molds, but you must spoon the chocolate individually onto the muffin cups to avoid a chocolate nightmare in your sink.
  12. Place in the freezer for at least 10 more minutes to set!
  13. When everything is good and set, go ahead and pop your candy out of the muffin tins and silicone molds. Grab your cute little tin, line with parchment, and fill!

Now stand back in awe at your homemade chocolate. Then try each of them, and be amazed at how good they taste!

What do you think? Will you be making your loved ones chocolate this Valentine’s Day? Or is store-bought the way to go?